Saint James the Apostle is also called James, son of Zebedee, or James the Greater. He was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus Christ and his younger brother was St John the Apostle. He was born in Galilee, Palestine and died in 44 AD in Jerusalem. His feast day is celebrated on July 25 every year in the Catholic Church.
|Saint James, Apostle Biography|
|Date of Birth||1st-century|
|Place of Birth||Galilee, Palestine|
|Profession||Apostle of Jesus|
|Place of Work||Jerusalem and Spain|
|Date of Death||44 AD|
|Place of Death||Jerusalem, Israel|
|Feast Day||July 25|
|Patron Saint of||Galicia, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Spain; Acoma Pueblo, Badian, Cebu, Philippines, Compostela, Cebu, Philippines, Guayaquil, Sahuayo, Santiago de Querétaro, Veterinarians, equestrians, furriers, tanners, pharmacists|
Saint James, Apostle Life History
St James the Apostle was the son of Zebedee and Salome and elder brother of St John the disciple (Matthew 4:21-22). He was given the title “the Greater”, with greater meaning older or taller, so that he may not be confused with the other apostle also called James the Lesser. He should also not be confused with James the Just who was the author of the Letter of James and the leader of the Jerusalem community.
21 He walked along from there and saw two other brothers, James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John. They were in a boat, with their father Zebedee, mending their nets. He called them,Matthew 4:21-22
22 and immediately they left their boat and their father and followed him.
Together with St Peter the Apostle and his brother St John the Apostle, they were members of the inner circle of Jesus. They were in the home of Jairus when Jesus raised the daughter of Jairus from the dead. (Luke 8:51 and Mark 5:37).
James was there during the Transfiguration of Jesus up a high mountain
2 After six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John and led them up a high mountain apart by themselves. And he was transfigured before them,Mark 9:2-4
3 and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no fuller on earth could bleach them.
4 Then Elijah appeared to them along with Moses, and they were conversing with Jesus.
James was still there in the Garden of Gethsemane when Jesus was praying before he was crucified
32 Then they came to a place named Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, “Sit here while I pray.”
33 He took with him Peter, James, and John, and began to be troubled and distressed.
34 Then he said to them, “My soul is sorrowful even to death. Remain here and keep watch.”Mark 14:32-34 and Matthew 26:36-38
James and his brother John had asked Jesus to guarantee them that, in His glory in heaven, they will sit one at His right and one at His left, but Jesus did not grant that because he told them it was not His to give but is for those for whom it has been prepared.
In Matthew 20:20-28, it is written that it is Salome, the mother of James and John, who requested Jesus to command that her two sons sit, one at His right and the other at His left, in His kingdom.
35 Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to him and said to him, “Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.”Mark 10:35-40 and Matthew 20:20-28
36 He replied, “What do you wish [me] to do for you?”
37 They answered him, “Grant that in your glory we may sit one at your right and the other at your left.”
38 Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking. Can you drink the cup that I drink or be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?”
39 They said to him, “We can.” Jesus said to them, “The cup that I drink, you will drink, and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized;
40 but to sit at my right or at my left is not mine to give but is for those for whom it has been prepared.”
The same James and his brother John had asked Jesus to call fire down from heaven and burn the Samaritan town after they refused to welcome Jesus, but Jesus rebuked them.
51 When the days for his being taken up were fulfilled, he resolutely determined to journey to Jerusalem,Luke 9:51-55
52 and he sent messengers ahead of him. On the way they entered a Samaritan village to prepare for his reception there,
53 but they would not welcome him because the destination of his journey was Jerusalem.
54 When the disciples James and John saw this they asked, “Lord, do you want us to call down fire from heaven to consume them?”
55 Jesus turned and rebuked them, 56and they journeyed to another village.
James and John had a very fiery temperament such that Jesus nicknamed them “Sons of Thunder”.
16 Jesus appointed the twelve: Simon, whom he named Peter;Mark 3:16-17
17 James, son of Zebedee, and John the brother of James, whom he named Boanerges, that is, sons of thunder;
After Jesus ascended into Heaven, James preached all over the Roman empire but ultimately landed in Spain where he spread the Gospel with zeal and zest. Legend says that one day as he was praying, The Blessed Virgin Mary appeared and instructed him to build her a church and it was built after James’s death..
Out of the twelve apostles of Jesus, it is only the martyrdom of St James the Apostle that is recorded in the New Testament. He was the first apostle to die.
When he returned to Jerusalem from Spain, he was beheaded and ultimately martyred by order of King Herod Agrippa I of Judaea. This martyrdom site is located in the Armenian Apostolic Cathedral of Saint James in the Armenian Quarter of Jerusalem. His head is buried under the altar and is marked by a red marble and surrounded by six lamps.
Because he was not allowed to be buried in Jerusalem, his remains were taken to Santiago de Compostela, Spain, by some of his followers and was buried there. Today, his remains are interred in the Cathedral of Santiago where his shrine attracts millions of Christian pilgrims from all over the world. There is a legend that says that his decapitated body was miraculously taken by angels and sailed alone in a boat from Judea to Galicia Spain.
The word Santiago is a Spanish word that evolved from the Latin word Sancti Iacobi, (Saint James). In Portuguese, it is Tiago which is derived from the world Diego.
Saint James Feast Day
The feast day of St James is celebrated on July 25 every year in the Roman Catholic Church, Lutheran Church, and Anglican Church. The Orthodox Christian Church celebrates on April 30.
Saint James, Apostle is the Patron Saint of
- Spanish conquistadors
- Rheumatoid sufferers
- Arthritis sufferers
- Against rheumatism
- Against arthritis
- Diocese of Bangued, Philippines
- Archdiocese of Seattle, Washington
- Kapellen, Belgium
- Medjugorje, Bosnia-Herzegovina
- Montreal, Canada
- Hettstedt, Saxony-Anhalt, Germany
- Rhinow, Germany
- Antigua, Guatemala
- Rivarolo Canavese
- Brentino Belluno
- Borgo a Mozzano
- Urra, Portugal
- Tesuque Indian Pueblo
- Sahuayo, Mexico
- Loiza, Puerto Rico
- Jemez Indian Pueblo
- Galicia, Spain
- Gáldar, Canary Islands, Spain
- Compostela, Spain
- Bearded man wearing a hat with a scallop shell
- Man holding the long staff of a pilgrim from which a wallet or gourd of water is suspended
- Man with shells around him
- Man with a thin beard, and the hair parted in the middle and flowing down on each side
- Man mounted on horseback, trampling a Moor
- Dark-bearded man with a floppy pilgrim‘s hat, long staff, water bottle, and scallop shell
- Dark-bearded man holding a sword
- Dark-bearded man holding a scroll
- Dark-bearded man holding a book
Saint James, Apostle Prayer
Oh glorious Saint James, Apostle,Saint James, Apostle Prayer
who by reason of your fervent and generous heart
was chosen by Jesus to be a witness of His glory on Mount Tabor,
and of His agony in Gethsemane;
you, whose very name is a symbol of warfare and victory:
obtain for us strength and consolation in the unending warfare of this life,
that, having constantly and generously followed Jesus,
we may be victors in strife and deserve to receive the victor’s crown in heaven.
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